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Online Dating For Men: Choosing the Profile Pic

Updated on September 14, 2009

The main profile photo is the first thing a woman is going to see when she’s scoping the dating gallery. Your headline and your text are completely irrelevant – not to mention useless – if your photo puts her off.

It’s just too easy to skim straight over the photo of a person you have never met.

And before you start worrying, I’m not really talking about how handsome you may or may not be. Yes, her perception of that will certainly affect her likeliness to click on your profile – but that is not what we’re talking about today. Even Brad Pitt would have trouble getting a date if he made some of the more common mistakes. The following tips are taken from personal experience; believe me when I tell you they can make a very big difference.

(Note: We’re talking about the primary photo, here; some of these no-no’s are ok if you use them as additional pics, and we’ll talk more about that in another article.)

  • No black and white pics.

Black and white is a no-no. So are all those artsy colors you can create in photoshop. People often look very, very different in color, and this can be misleading. If you want to include one as an extra photo, that’s fine – but your profile pic should be a true representation. Black and white is not a true representation unless you’re a Dalmatian.

  • No photos of you with women.

This includes photos of you standing very close to a woman and then cropping her out. Guess what? We can still see her dress, her hair and the way your arms are wrapped around her waist. Are you people mad? No woman is going to want a man who puts pics of him and his ex on a dating site. Get your own pics! And don’t use a pic of your sister or Best Friend Forever, either – cos we’re going to assume it’s someone you’ve shacked up with, which would just be tacky.

  • No computer cam shots.

Don't sit in front of your computer and snap a photo. Not only is your facial expression bound to be a little strange (cos you're going to be trying too hard to take your own pic), the quality is bound to suck. You want a natural pic, something that won't make you look like a Star Wars droid.

  • No hats, no sunglasses.

You only get a headshot, for God’s sake. Hats and sunglasses will take up ¼ of the pic. It will also make you seem like you’ve got something to hide. It’s incredible how many men do this – the subliminal is, "I’m trying this out, but hope to God no one I know sees this." Um, how’s that supposed to make us feel? If you have a low opinion of yourself for dating online, what must you think of us? Besides, y’all look better without hats, I promise.

  • No professional glam shots.

These look great. And I never click on them. They immediately make me think the following: Player, Primadonna, Male Slut. Hey, maybe the guy's a 40 year old virgin... but, whatever he is, I'll never know, cos I ain't clicking on pretentious photos.

  • Nothing more than 6 months old.

If you think we can’t tell your photo is 20 years old, guess again. Women are masters at noticing trends. Yes, we’re going to notice the 70’s leisure suit and feathered hair. We’re going to notice the Pac-Man t-shirt. We’re going to notice the Polaroid quality. We’re going to notice that’s a freaking old pic – which means you must hate the way you look now. Low self-esteem is not attractive and you’ll be overlooked.

  • Do use a close-up.

You don’t need to show us your wisdom teeth, but don’t use a pic of you waving from off in the distance. Full body shots are no good for this either – you can show your figure off in the additional pic section, where they won’t be cropped down to icon size. For now, choose something that shows your face. Hair, eyes, chin, neck. These should all be visible.

  • No profile angles.

In other words, nothing that looks like it belongs on coinage somewhere. You can add these into your additional pics, but the main pic ought to show you face on. Everyone knows a clever angle can make a person look very different from how they might appear head on. So do yourself a favor and make your appearance clear from the start.

Right, those are the basics. Follow these rules and you’ll ensure maximum profile viewage.

xx Isabella

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